On the Radar Volume 5 Number 4


UBC and Evergreen

“On the Radar" is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC. It is published periodically via email and on our website, under the guidance of the AAPS Communications Committee.

Photograph by Jasmin Deol.


In This Issue

(The hyperlinks below will aid you in jumping to the articles you would most like to read.)



Results of the AAPS Board Elections

President:Isabella Losinger
Past PresidentBernice Urbaniak
1st Vice President:Daryl Stowe
2nd Vice President:Justin Bonzo
Secretary:Robert Tudhope
Treasurer:Edward Hung
Members-At-Large:Rick Byers
 Anne-Marie Fenger
 Preeti Gill
 Stuart Mah
 Colette Roche
 Jacqueline Smit

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Highlights of AGM

by Jasmin Deol, Member Services Officer, AAPS

The AGM opened with guest speaker Pierre Ouillet, VP-Finance, Resources and Operations UBC. Mr. Ouillet updated the membership on the fiscal challenges facing UBC.  Mr. Ouillet, who began working at UBC in January 2009, was optimistic about UBC’s current financial challenges.  Though UBC is currently running a GPOF deficit of close to 30 million, there is a plan in place to retire that deficit within the next year, “UBC’s budget is very historical, and stagnant, whatever allocation you had last year you will have this year.  This is not very consistent or strategic. Our idea is to bring a more transparent budget allocation framework so that faculties understand which resources they receive and why; linking allocations to enrolment and research."

Mr. Ouillet closed his presentation by expressing his appreciation to staff and stating that UBC staff “are the greatest asset of UBC, and I have trust and confidence in your ability to move UBC forward."

michael conlon
Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director, then briefed the membership on his priorities for the upcoming year which included improving communication between the University and M&P staff. “It is vital that UBC recognizes that AAPS members are uniquely positioned to see the kinds of challenges that UBC faces first hand.  It is our members, and other staff, that do the day-to-day work of keeping this campus moving and growing, and so we want to ensure that our voice is included in the University's strategic planning, and is included at every turn about operational and funding changes."

Michael acknowledged that AAPS would also be facing some challenges in the upcoming year due to the financial uncertainties UBC is currently facing. "The reality is UBC faces challenges.  You can't shave $30 million out of a budget without affecting people. There are just not that many efficiencies out there, and I think we need to prepare for that reality.  Moving forward we will increase AAPS' profile on campus, and ensure our members are not adversely affected by these upcoming changes, and where they are affected, to ensure there is professional advocacy support available to them."

Michael reported that preparations for collective bargaining were currently underway.  As chief negotiator for AAPS, Michael encouraged members to share their views on areas that they would like to see improvements in, by either attending a collective bargaining focus group, or emailing him directly atmichael.conlon@ubc.ca

Next, Edward Hung, Treasurer of AAPS, provided members with a detailed financial report.  A motion was introduced for a dues holiday for the month of January 2010.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Edward also indicated that the AAPS Board would study various options for a possible, ongoing reduction in dues to be presented at the Spring GM on April 28, 2010.

bernice and isabella at AGM 2009
Bernice Urbaniak (left), Isabella Losinger (right)

The AGM closed with Isabella Losinger addressing the membership for the first time as the President of AAPS.  Isabella expressed her gratitude to the membership for the opportunity to serve the membership in her new role.  "There is an incredible pride I feel working on your behalf, to make this a pleasant, productive and respectful environment, for you in which to work."  Isabella also thanked Bernice Urbaniak for her sterling leadership over the past two years as AAPS President.  

105 AAPS members attended this year’s Annual General Meeting.  The event was also aired via web cast to increase opportunity for membership participation. 

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Collective Bargaining Update

by Michael Conlon, Executive Director, AAPS

The current collective agreement between AAPS and UBC expires on June 30, 2010. Bargaining for a new contract is expected to begin some time in the spring of 2010. To that end, we are beginning an extensive set of consultations with the AAPS membership in order to develop our bargaining mandate. There will be a number of fora through which you can share your views with the bargaining team, including an online survey, a comment section attached to our website, and in-person focus groups.  

Focus groups will be held at the following locations:

  • Children’s and Women’s Hospitals -- November 19 from 9 am to 11 am in the Child and Family Research Institute, Room 2108.
  • Vancouver General Hospital -- November 23, 12 pm to 2 pm in the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, Room 7254. 
  • UBC Point Grey Campus -- November 25 and November 27 from 12pm to 2pm, in the Student Union Building, AMS Council Chambers. (second floor) 
  • UBC – Okanagan - November 30 from 12pm to 2pm in the University Centre, Room 334.

Each focus group will be limited to 30 in order to facilitate discussion. If necessary we will expand the dates to accommodate demand. The format will include a brief overview and introduction of the current collective agreement as well as an assessment of the context for the upcoming round of bargaining. However the vast majority of the time will be set aside to hear your suggestions and priorities for this round of bargaining. Key points of consensus will be summarized and passed on to the bargaining team.

Please make time for this opportunity to help shape our next collective agreement. For those sessions taking place over the lunch hour, a sandwich lunch and beverage will be served. Coffee and refreshments will be served at the other sessions.

The deadline for registration to each event is as follows:

  • Children’s and Women’s Hospitals:  November 12
  • Vancouver General Hospital: November 16
  • UBC Point Grey Campus:  November 20
  • UBC – Okanagan: November 23

In order to register for the event simply send an email with the location and date you wish to attend in the subject heading to aaps@interchange.ubc.ca. If you have any further questions about bargaining please contact Michael Conlon, michael.conlon@ubc.ca.

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An Ode to Bernice

            Admittedly, I did not attend the annual general meetings on a regular basis until my UBC job took me to the Point Grey campus in early 2004.  It was then that I first met Bernice Urbaniak, Chair of the Advocacy Committee.  Listening to her report at the AGMs, I wondered at her ability to work so industriously on our behalf, while still maintaining her regular “day” job. When I finally joined the AAPS Board in October 2006, I marvelled further.

            Bernice became AAPS President in October 2007, and it is in that capacity that I know her best. From the very beginning of her presidential tenure, I was struck by her calm confidence, her knowledge of all things-AAPS, and her sense of humour. While not always agreeing with her, I have over the past two years respected her ability to listen, honestly weigh all our input, and support us in arriving at recommendations and decisions that have ultimately proved to be in the very best interests of our collective membership.  

            Over the coming year, I will do my utmost to emulate Bernice’s unqualified dedication to the AAPS membership. I am totally lacking in poetic ability, but had I been possessed of such talents I would indeed have written an ode about Bernice. In the meantime, she will have to be content with my expressed appreciation for her leadership of the AAPS Board, her wisdom, and her continued support of all M & P members working in their various positions at UBC.

            Finally, we are honoured that Bernice has chosen to remain active on the AAPS Board as Past-President. As you all know, we are facing a year in which collective bargaining will be a critical activity; and there are, of course, always ongoing challenges related to specific issues on campus. Bernice’s expertise in those areas will continue to be invaluable. That being said, I can testify to the energies of your current Board, Volunteers and Staff:  they are a forward-looking, multi-talented collection of people who have committed to working hard on your behalf. Please join with me in supporting them to ensure that UBC continues to develop as a respectful, rewarding, and unique place in which to exercise your talents and skills.

Isabella Losinger
President, AAPS

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1% Benefits Accord Vote Results

The options considered were either:

  • Option 1: Reinstate the UBC payment of ¼ of the MSP premium for those enrolled in the University MSP, beginning January 1. 2010 or,
  • Option 2: Create a Health Spending Account (HSA) of $175 per member per year beginning January 1, 2010. 

Of the 607 members who voted, 351 voted for Option 1 and 256 voted for Option 2. Therefore on January 1, 2010,  Option 1 will be implemented. 

To learn more about the accord, please visit AAPS FAQs.

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The Olympics at UBC

By now, you may be aware that some Olympic and Paralympic events are being held at the UBC Thunderbird Arena on Wesbrook Mall and at Robson Square downtown, in February and March 2010. You can learn more about the scheduled events, as well as how the Games will affect your daily schedule and commute during that time by checking out UBC 2010’s FAQ  open link in new window (or tab) site.

Also, sign up for Game Time,  open link in new window (or tab)  the online newsletter of the UBC 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Secretariat for regular updates delivered to your inbox.

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Merit Update

by Sharon Cory, Member Services Officer, AAPS

This past fall, the University confirmed that 2009 Merit funds will be available to recognize and reward meritorious performance.  The University will fund Merit increases for the GPO-funded positions at an average of 2%.  Should an individual be eligible for a merit increase, it will be paid retroactively to July 1, 2009. 

To read more about UBC performance-based merit increases for staff including eligibility, please visit the HR website. open link in new window (or tab)

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AAPS UBC Scholarship

AAPS is pleased to announce that Christopher Rodgers has been awarded the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff of UBC Scholarship in the amount of $4500 for the 2009 Winter Session.  Christopher is the son of AAPS Member David Rodgers.  AAPS had established this scholarship for students beginning or continuing full-time studies at UBC. Applicants should be either children of AAPS members, spouses of AAPS members or AAPS members who, in the past several years, have credit courses equivalent to a full course load and are proceeding to a year of full-time studies.

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Annual Report Cover Page

AAPS would like to express its appreciation to the following members for allowing use of their pictures for our Annual Report cover page: Rex Chang, Julie Prasad, David Cunningham, Amanda Versteeg and Anna Scales.

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Advocacy Issues Report

The Advocacy Committee and the AAPS Member Services Staff are available to support and assist the Membership in advocacy issues.  If you have concerns and/or questions contact us at the AAPS office and you will be assigned a representative to assist you with your situation.  All information is treated confidentially. Questions that are brought forward raise AAPS's awareness of what is happening on the Campus and ensures the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied.  The following report identifies the Category of Issues as well as the number of specific issues within each category.

Advocacy Issues
July 1, 2009 - September 30, 2009

Category of Issue Category DescriptionYTD
# Issues Handled
# This Month (Sept)YTD
# of Issues Resolved
# of Issues Remaining
Hours of WorkTime of day / day of week3121
Workload OvertimeOver work/overtime pay    
DisciplineWarning/Suspension3 3 
Terminations CauseCulpable firings    
Terminations Without CauseLayoff/ Reorg/Lack of $/Unsuitability727 
Terminations ProbationSuitability/Fit    
Resignation/ RetirementQuit of own accord1 11
Term Appointment EndsDate Moved/ Notice/$2211
Classification & ReclassFamily/Grade1 1 
Bargaining UnitAAPS/CUPE/ FACUlTY    
ExclusionsWho is in/out    
Discrimination - 13 GroundsHuman Rights Code    
Harassment - PersonalBullying2  2
Work Environment - PhysicalSafety    
Work Environment - CultureToxic Environment1  1
ReorganizationDept or UBC changes22 2
Long Term DisabilityExtend sick leave    
Sick LeavePay, duration, qualifying for515 
Leaves of AbsenceVacation & other leaves7243
PensionsAmount, entitlement, etc.    
Evaluation Post -Prob'nPerformance111 
Evaluation ProbationPerformance212 
AppointmentsSearch/Selection/ Offer Letters5232
ServiceTotal Length of    
AttendanceAbsenteeism & Attendance Mgmt    
Professional DevelopmentTuition Waivers/PD Fund/Study Leave9354
Interpretations GeneralAnything not listed above7452
TOTAL 71255219


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AAPS Professional Development Fund Update

by Jasmin Harry, Member Services Officer AAPS

The Professional Development Fund has seen a dramatic increase in membership usage, and as of October 8, 2009, AAPS PD fund balance was $99,191.80.   Please submit your application as soon as possible since the fund may be exhausted before the year end and funding is on a first come, first served basis.  The membership will be notified once the fund is exhausted.

Please review the Professional Development Guidelines  (pdf) to learn more.   

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AAPS Professional Development at UBCO

by Jasmin Harry, Member Services Officer AAPS

AAPS would like to ensure UBCO members have equal opportunity to participate in professional development events as our Point Grey members.  If previous topics have not reflected your interests, we encourage UBCO AAPS members to send their ideas for Professional Development events to Jasmin Deol at jasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

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Warren Macdonald Presentation

by Jasmin Harry, Member Services Officer AAPS

warren macdonald

AAPS Professional Development event Challenge of Change, presented by Warren Macdonald was nothing short of inspiring.  The audience was captivated with Warren’s message “when you change the way you see the world, you change the world”.  This keynote was well received by AAPS members, with a total of 260 members attending and ended with a standing ovation.

If you were unable to attend and would like to watch the recorded presentation, please email Jasmin Deol at jasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

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Understanding Your Agreement

Salary Administration Plan & Pay Structure

Each edition of On the Radar will include a summary of a term or condition of employment from the AAPS Agreement.

By Sharon Cory, Member Services Officer

The parties of AAPS and UBC agreed to a salary administration plan which addresses individual movement to the midpoint through the salary ranges in the Collective Agreement.  

To ensure appropriate consideration is given to employees, the parties itemized “Career Progress Increments:  The University shall ensure that employees are compensated to the midpoint of their salary range by the end of their fourth year in the position, from the date of hire, subject to satisfactory performance."

When an employee is paid at midpoint of the salary range, it means the employee possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience.

Further, it is identified that “There shall be up to (4) increments from the salary at which an employee is hired to the midpoint of the salary range."  Increments should be given once annually at a date no later than the anniversary date within the current position – provided there is satisfactory performance."

To review your personal salary progression you can visit my.ubc.ca, logon using your CWL credentials, follow the link titled "Enter The Management Systems Portal" and then review the section “Compensation History”. 

Should you have questions regarding the process or require clarification, please contact the AAPS office for assistance.

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Getting to Know Your Committee Members

Each edition of On the Radar will include a Q & A session with an active committee member. This month, Professional Development Committee Member, Julie Gemin from UBCO will be featured.

julie gemin



What is your position at UBC?   
Explain your duties.

Associate Director Supply Management, but at the moment I'm acting Director for two months.

What do you love most about working at UBC?

The high energy and passion you find in a senior educational institution. The students are focused, passionate about their future careers and vocal. This is infectious. The staff and faculty are passionate about providing the best. What's not to love!

What is your volunteer position at AAPS?  Explain your duties.

I work on the PD committee as a volunteer. Our goal is to provide interesting and innovative development opportunities. As a frequent flyer between the Vancouver and Kelowna campuses, and living in the Okanagan, my focus is to bring some PD opportunities to Kelowna and encourage participation.

What made you decide to volunteer for AAPS?

I was nominated for the board in 2008 but lacked some votes. However I wanted to be involved with representing our association in some way. I therefore offered my time to AAPS in any capacity they needed support. I was thrilled to become part of the PD committee as education is a passion for me.

What was the biggest accomplishment in your AAPS position?

I really enjoy being part of the team that can review PD opportunities and hopefully bring interesting and unique training to all campuses. I was particularly thrilled to be part of bringing a PD opportunity to the Okanagan for the members in October 2009.  It’s been difficult in the past for the PD committee to gain the registration numbers due to small membership numbers. I hope my being on the ground in the Okanagan has helped in a small way to promote the courses.

What is your favourite restaurant on UBC campus and why?

Oh, that has to be Tim Horton’s. It was such a long awaited asset to the limited choices of where to eat. Now we have an endless supply of java and the world famous Blueberry Fritters.

If you could give a piece of advice to a new M&P Staff about his/her career, what would it be?

My advice to a new member would be to listen hard and write fast! Lots to learn and great people to help you. Embrace the culture and have fun while doing it.

In your opinion, what are key characteristics that you feel make a good manager?

Open, honest and respectful. And a good sense of humour helps!

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Tips and Best Practices: Journal Vouchers

By Melinda Bok, Internal Auditor

Journal vouchers play an essential part in the lives of finance individuals regardless of the type of organization they work in. The importance of journal vouchers lies in the fact that it provides the organization with an audit trail of financial transactions. In order for all journal vouchers to be processed accurately and in a timely and efficient manner, it is essential for all individuals preparing journal vouchers to adhere to the Journal Voucher Policy and Procedure  open link in new window (or tab) and the Spreadsheet Journal Policy and Procedure open link in new window (or tab)regardless of the method utilized to record transactions.

Some essential items to check for when preparing a journal voucher include:

  1. Journal voucher has been reviewed and signed by the appropriate individual with signing authority on the project/grant (PG).
  2. Include an adequate description explaining and providing details on the purpose of the journal voucher.
  3. Ensure that the expenditure recorded is allowable as per the University and granting agency policies.
  4. Ensure that the account coding used is appropriate for the transaction being recorded.
  5. Attach the appropriate hard-copy supporting documentation to the journal voucher.  Examples of appropriate supporting documentation include invoices, memos and any other documentation which supports the journal voucher.
  6. If a spreadsheet journal is being used, ensure that appropriate documentation is attached to the hardcopy of the spreadsheet journal and is filed in your department.  Appropriate authorization should also be obtained from the appropriate PG signing authority.

By ensuring that the above controls are in place, the organization can mitigate risks arising from inaccurate financial information used to make strategic management decisions.

For more details, please see the Journal Voucher Policy and Procedure open link in new window (or tab) as well as the Spreadsheet Journal Policy and Procedureopen link in new window (or tab)

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The Coaching Advantage

What’s in your toolbox?

By Nancy Hogan, CEC BBA

As it was pouring rain this morning, I was thankful I had my handy umbrella to combat the weather conditions and keep me dry in order to get to work.  How often do we find ourselves in the workplace with uncomfortable conditions or relationships and no tools in hand (like the umbrella) to help us through the situation?

Working with a coach can help clients build strong, resilient relationships.  Examples of specific situations a coach can assist with are:

  • Increase ability to deal with emotionally charged situations
  • Build partnership with others to attain specific results
  • Communicate ideas to create impact and foster buy-in
  • Manage more effectively to deliver results through others

When you are facing a situation that gets emotions charged and negative thoughts surfacing, a coach may work with you through a 4 step strategy to help you respond in a way that helps you to move forward instead of dwelling on the situation. 

The first step is to remain calm.  Step back or remove yourself from the situation before you lose your composure. 

A second step is to reframe your thoughts.  Reframing your thoughts is a choice, and choice is your most powerful ally. 

Responding assertively is a third step that can help us through a challenging situation.  Using an “I” statement is a very direct method to confront a situation and allows the problem to be reframed in a way that focuses on solutions.  This is a tool to allow you to change your perspective from victim to change agent. 

In dealing with negative situations, it is important for you to feel you have put forward your best efforts.  In this fourth step, reflecting on your response and the value of your actions will allow you to plan for the next situation and move on.  Take time to ask yourself what you might do differently next time and learn from the experience.

What new tools would you like to acquire?

Nancy Hogan is part of UBC’s award-winning Coaching Services, which offers one-on-one coaching services with a professional coach, team coaching and skill development in coaching. Services are available to all UBC faculty and staff. For more information about UBC Coaching Services, visithttp://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/   open link in new window (or tab)

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The Challenge of Change

by Warren Macdonald

During September’s presentation, we talked (okay, I talked; you listened) a lot about perception and the importance thereof. We know that perception is where “the rubber hits the road; that how we see a situation is more important thanwhat we see.

We know that if we want to be successful in the new economy we need to change the way we see what we do. Hurdles and obstacles are popping up now that simply didn’t exist 18 months ago. The world is changing dramatically. Which brings me to the topic I’d like to focus on with you now: The Challenge of Change?

Why is change so challenging for most of us? Along with death and taxes, it’s one of the only certainties in life. My guess is we find it so challenging because we have this built in desire to be comfortable, to not have our boat rocked. We want things to stay as they are. When you think about it, what’s really happening is that we’re more comfortable in the past that we are in the present. Some of us are also more comfortable with the future, or what we perceive our future to be.

The bottom line though is that by finding comfort in the past, we’re not in the present. If you’ve taken notes from any of the spiritual teachers who’ve been trying to hammer this home to us for millennia now, you’ll know that at the end of the day; the present is all we have. So, before you turn off because I’ve “gone all spiritual on you”, hear this:  Being present has nothing to do with pretending there is no future. It has nothing to do with pretending the past doesn’t matter. Being present means accepting the reality of what is, right now in this moment. Accepting first what it is, then questioning what that means, and finally, deciding what you’re going to do about it

Accepting what is.

If you can’t accept what is, you can’t move forward; simple as that. Accepting what is does not mean giving up. In some cases it means finding the current situation unacceptable before moving on to step two. Let’s use the economy as a case in point. You can refrain from using the “R” word all you like; that doesn’t change the fact that the game has changed. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a recession or not; it’s your responses to the changes taking place that will determine your success or failure. First step, as in all things, is acceptance.

Question what that means.

To some, this current economic downturn/ recession/ depression (oops, did I just use the “D” word?) may well spell the end of the world. For those who are determined to look at it that way, guess what? They are probably right. But what if the rest of us choose to look at it differently and decide instead to look for theopportunities in what’s unfolding? What would that look like? Let me give you an example:

I have been working closely with a financial services firm these past few years, an independent broker/dealer. As you know, these are very challenging times for everyone, especially so for the financial services industry. I would imagine that many advisors are feeling that the end of their world is near. That being said, the top performers in this firm are excited. They’re doing what they’ve always done: connecting with their clients; providing unparalleled service and showcasing their industry knowledge to reassure the client that they’re there to help them navigate the chaos. By reaching out to their clients, by acting with honesty and integrity, they’re winning loyalty while others are running for cover…

So, what does this mean for you? It means that if you’re not a top performer, are you OK with that reality? If so, that’s great, but don’t say you haven’t been warned. Mediocrity has no place when the going gets tough.  If you’re not OK with that reality, the question becomes:

What are you going to do about it?

You can choose to be a victim of change, which I have to point out will be a lifelong vocation as change “is here to stay”, or, like our top performers you can choose to see the opportunities in change. You can choose to recognize as they do that the greater the upheaval; the greater the opportunities available.  You can start by accepting what is.  Then by asking yourself, “What is it I want to create? What can I do today to move towards making it happen?

Warren Macdonald works with innovative, forward thinking organizations and associations looking to foster “out of the box” thinking; the kind of thinking that led him to become the first double above-knee amputee to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak (19,222ft); the kind of thinking that empowers potential and inspires you to grow and prosper. Visit www.warren-macdonald.comopen link in new window (or tab)

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UBC Employment Equity Census Update

submitted by UBC Equity Office

In November 2008, all UBC staff and faculty were asked to complete a new and on-line employment equity census.  This census contains some questions that have been revised and others that are new.  Therefore all UBC employees are being asked to participate in this new census, even those who submitted a census prior to November 2008.  Information from this questionnaire will allow us to identify and remove barriers that may exist in recruitment, hiring, training, retention, and promotion practices.   Since November, 44% of 10,000 staff and faculty have either completed or submitted the questionnaire.  If you have not completed the questionnaire, more information and a Step by Step Guide can be accessed at Employment Equity Online Census.  open link in new window (or tab)


Health Promotions Program

By UBC Department of Health Safety and Environment

sneezing lady



Looking to find out more about seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations?  We will update the HSE website open link in new window (or tab) with UBC community options as soon as we receive details from the health authorities.


Healthy UBC is a publication from UBC's Department of Health, Safety and Environment and it provides health promotion information to UBC staff and faculty on a monthly basis. Sign up open link in new window (or tab) to receive this monthly newsletter.


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